California couple stand out as world's tallest
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Their height made Wayne and Laurie Hallquist seem like an ideal match when they met seven years ago, and on Thursday they were matched with something else -- the title of world's tallest living married couple.
Guinness World Records bestowed that towering distinction to the Hallquists in a ceremony under the marquee at its Hollywood museum. The couple arrived in a white limousine, with Wayne sporting a tuxedo and Laurie in a white wedding dress.
The Hallquists, who live in Stockton, California, measure a combined 13 feet, 4 inches, or 407.4 centimeters, to be exact. He stands 6 feet 10.4 inches, she 6 feet 5.95 inches, the Guinness organization said.
"It's a whole different perspective up here, and we can find each other quite easily in a crowd," Laurie told Reuters.
"We can see several people going bald that might not know it at the moment," joked Wayne, 57, who works as a telephone company wire splicer.
The Hallquists said that when they met at a church singles club in 2003, they could tell that others around them were sizing up a possible love affair because of their height.
"She walked in, everyone looked at her, then they looked at me," Wayne said.
But while Wayne said it was love at first sight for him, Laurie their first meeting came up short.
"He talked about the size of my hands and feet, which is kind of a no-no," said Laurie, 46. "And then the second time we had a chance to talk, I figured out he was a really good guy."
They have been married for seven years, but it took the Hallquists until this year to contact Guinness World Records.
The couple said they were discouraged at first from making a play for world's tallest couple, because they read online that a man and a woman each standing over 7 feet had married in the 19th century.
Only this year did they realize they could compete in another category: world's tallest living married couple.
Guinness previously listed a couple in England -- Wilco and Keisha van Kleef-Bolton -- as the world's tallest couple at a combined height of 13 feet, 3 inches.
The Hallquists knew they could beat that -- by an inch. So they contacted Guinness, and the organization had them measured by a doctor and a notary to make it official.
Laurie, a former college basketball player who now works as a realtor, said she dated shorter men before Wayne, including one "kind of macho" guy who stood 5-foot-7. She described that pairing as "a little awkward" and said that she likes looking up to her husband -- at least physically.
If recent history is any indication, the Hallquists may have a limited time to stand out. The van Kleef-Boltons were only named world's tallest couple last year, before the Hallquists stepped up to challenge them.
"There may be people who are taller than the Hallquists, but unless we go out and can measure them, the Hallquists have the record all to themselves," said Guinness World Records adjudicator Stuart Claxton.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis, Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Bohan)
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